Reflections on Cornwall Council’s Draft Budget

Posted on: 28th September 2014

Reflections on Cornwall Council’s draft budget, from a very personal perspective. There are lots of things that the Council is having to cut money from that worries me but the reality is, there is not enough money in the pot so we cannot provide all the services the people of Cornwall would like. If I am honest, I don’t think any Councillor, no matter whether they are a member of a political party or independent is happy with what the Council is planning to do.

I could go to Council meetings and object to most of the proposed cuts. It would be easy to make the case and I could go to those who elected me and say “I did not support the cuts”. It would not be very honest though. I see it a bit like a family with a change in circumstances. They might be comfortably off, enjoying holidays abroad, buying designer clothes for the kids, nice car, etc etc. If the major bread winner lost their job, the family would not decide “we don’t like holidays abroad any more and we are happy with clothes for the kids from charity shops” but they maybe the difficult choices the family has to make, to make the household budget work and stay out of debt. Alternatively, they might decide to sell the family home and live with parents but keep the day to day lifestyle. They could only sell the asset of their home once and would have to weigh up how long that would allow them to holiday abroad and buy designer clothes and if it run out before a new job and more income, what next?

So, I have searched the budget papers and my heart and have decided the bit on the budget I am most worried about are the cuts, and they don’t save a lot of money, to youth services. I am asking questions because I think that services to adolescents, 14 to 18 year olds, were long ago cut to the bone so I fear that further cuts might leave some of our troubled young folk nowhere to turn. The Council agreed to protect services to vulnerable people but the trouble with some of this age group is they can been unseen in the background. It is not until they make it through the door of one of these projects, that they find their voice and stand a chance of getting help and making better choices.

In terms of looking to what we can cut instead, I want to look carefully at dimming right down or turning off many of the Cornwall’s street lights. This will not be a popular idea with everyone but I don’t think any of the cuts proposed are universally popular. Well the only one that might win the popular vote would be making elected Councillors pay for the privileged of being elected as a Councillor instead of being paid for their time spent serving their local communities. Not sure how many people would stand in the next election though and all candidates would be have to be wealthy so not very representative of the people of Cornwall.

The Council is wanting everyone to pitch in ideas so go to and see whether you can help ease the pain whilst still balancing the books! Cornwall Council budget engagement 2014 – Cornwall